A free mySocialSecurity account provides personalized tools you can use whether or not you currently receive benefits. You can use your account to request a replacement Social Security benefits card, check the status of an existing application, estimate how many future benefits you’ll receive or manage the ones you are already getting.
One of the most important reasons for setting up an online account even decades before you’re ready to retire is that mySocialSecurity is the only place you can see estimates on the future benefits — based on your actual earnings — you could receive once you begin distributions.
You can check that Social Security has your appropriate current earnings through the mySocialSecurity portal. Social Security typically takes your highest-earning 35 years to create an estimate for your benefit amount, which means it’s up to you to make sure this information is correct to ensure you receive the biggest benefit possible.
The SSA has set up a full-retirement-age calculator to show citizens when they will be eligible for full, unreduced benefits. Full retirement age is also called the “normal retirement age,” which was 65 for many years. In 1983, Congress passed a law to gradually raise the full retirement age for people born in or after 1938 because people are living longer and healthier in older age than when the retirement age initially was set. Beginning with the birth year 1938, the retirement age gradually increases by a few months for every birth year until 1960, when the full retirement age reaches 67.
The mySocialSecurity portal also shows estimates for retirement, disability and survivor benefits you and your family may be eligible for.
Another huge benefit to the online portal is the easy access to Medicare resources and the ability to apply for Medicare benefits. You can also appeal a Medicare benefits decision through this portal.
The portal also lets you change your address, set up or change direct deposit information for benefits, print proof of benefits and print your 1099 forms.
Because earnings are different for everyone, and the process of receiving Social Security benefits can be confusing in general, using the online portal is an important part of managing your benefits. Also, should there be a discrepancy between what the estimator and online portal show you versus the actual amount you receive in a check, you can utilize your online statements to support a dispute.
More From GOBankingRates